「アフリカの風」 (Afurika no Kaze)
“The Wind of Africa”
Another story arc is starting this week on Dimension W, and like the last one it seems to be multi-episode. I wonder if that’s going to be the trend from now on. Although all of Dimension W‘s story arcs have built on the overall myth arc in one way or another, it seems they are shaping into something big. It’s all but certain that Kyouma’s past is going to be linked to it, and the more we learn of it the closer we get to the ‘main’ story. Of particular note this episode is the introduction of Kyouma’s older sister (and his twin, judging by the dialogue), who seems to know what he’s been going through. I’m surprised she was actually Kyouma’s sister, actually, and not his in-law or somesuch, because usually for the backstories of troubled, jaded characters like Kyouma the sister is usually dead. Along with everybody else he loved. I fear for her life now, because she is a prime target for being killed just to make Kyouma suffer. As the schoolmasters used to say, suffering builds character. So although I enjoyed her elder-sibling-banter with Kyouma, a small part of me hopes we never see her again, for her own safety.
Other than prodding at Kyouma’s past Dimension W spent this episode sowing seeds for the rest of the story, mostly be way of new characters. Now, there’s no way I’m going to remember their names, so for ease let’s call them the tall one and the short one (lazy? Yes. But it preserves my sanity, and I’m too immature to repeatedly type ‘Loo’). They’re purportedly from Africa, but Africa is a large continent. Off the cuff, I’m guessing north Africa, because the tall one fits the ‘glamorous oil-baron prince’ archetype of anime. And, of course, he’s a jackass (an important jackass, maybe, considering how freely sovereign Japan is letting them stomp their warbots around, but still just a jackass). Unfortunately, it seems the only Saudi princes who regularly make the news are oil-rich jackasses, so I guess he’s just playing to type.
I’m actually fairly interested in what these new characters imply, because we’ve seen little so far of how the energy revolution thanks to the coils has played out geopolitically. I was guessing that infinite alternate energy would have collapsed the economy of the entire Middle East, but it seems this royal regime has its money in robotics instead. And has somehow united the entire African continent? Maybe? I’m actually more interested in what’s going on over there than whatever silly challenge has been issued on Easter Island (which seems to have traded cool statues for desolate hellscape). Unfortunately (only for me, likely), Dimension W is strapped for time as it is, and is unlikely to wander too far or wide internationally. What we do know of the global situation still mostly concerns technology, and in this episode the issue of cybernetics is brought up. They seem to be in common circulation and more importantly, are capped at 60% of the human body. Is that strictly followed everywhere? It seems that the entirety of the tall one’s staff are robotic in some way; are they ’60 percent’? And considering how easily the short one trashed four, right after Four demonstrated its badassery, I’m willing to bet he’s overclocked.
Well, there seems to be many interesting angles for this arc (who’s this girl suddenly supposed to be, by the way?), but that has always been the strength of science fiction. We’ll have to see if Dimension W manages to juggle all of them. The pacing for this episode feels a lot more stable than the previous arc, so I hope they can maintain it. I wonder if we’ll have only two episodes, though? This first one was mostly introductory, so I don’t think it’ll be right to end it immediately next episode, especially if we’re going to get into the meat of Kyouma’s past, now that he’s finally up to dealing with it. I’m guessing at least three episodes, but we’ll have to see. I wait eagerly to see how the matchups are going to play out. Robotics corportation vs energy corporation. Robot girl vs robot, er, boy. Whatever your fancy.